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Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Films is winning our hearts as well as reaching out to global audiences with great fervor. After representing the country in various digital festivals and winning multiple accolades, another recent feather in its caps is that its latest documentary, A Life Too Short, has debuted at the 11th edition of America’s largest documentary festival, DOC NYC.

Released by MTV Documentary Films, A Life Too Short, is directed by Safyah Usmani and co-directed by Saad Zuberi. It opened as part of one of the festival’s most prestigious section — Short List: Shorts — which showcases a selection of shorts that the festival’s programming team considers to be among the year’s strongest contenders for Oscars and other awards.

Read: Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s Home1947 series wins big at South Asian Film Festival of Montréal

A Life Too Short is a story of an honor killing which chronicles the life of social media superstar, the late Qandeel Baloch, who pushed boundaries in conservative Pakistan like no other. Qandeel Baloch died at the age of 26 when her brother smothered her to death for her open exclamations of women’s equality and sexuality through her sensational social media presence.


Qandeel Baloch


Talking about her documentary director Safyah Usmani shared in a press statement:

“Making A Life Too Short has been a labor of love for more than three years and now that it’s ready to go out into the world, I am both nervous and excited. Undoubtedly, Qandeel had big dreams and the courage to create her own identity but I am left terrified every time I realize that not all women amongst us are afforded their basic right to choose to live however they want. Yet, I live for the day when there won’t be a price to pay should a woman choose to follow her heart.”

“Making biographical films is always tricky, but it’s harder when your subject is as complex and widely misunderstood as Qandeel Baloch. There’s so much more to her story than how it came to an end, but it’s really important for the world to remember the price Qandeel had to pay just because she chose to dream big and remain true to herself, and hopefully this film will help do that,” said co-director Saad Zuberi on working on the documentary.


Qandeel Baloch’s parents


A Life Too Short was one of the 12 titles showcased this year at DOC NYC, The Short List: Shorts. Last year the selection included seven of the ten films that went on to be named to the Oscars Shortlist for Documentary Shorts and three of DOC NYC’s picks went on to be Oscar nominees. This year’s DOC NYC’s winning short will qualify for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category of the Annual Academy Awards in 2021, without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

Indeed, that is a big achievement for SOC Films and provides a path forward to Oscars.